Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The success of the Ukrainian Orange Revolution, that led to a re-run of a fraudulent presidential election, is related to a unique coincidence of factors that prevented a violent oppression of the demonstrations. The popular revolt was the motive force behind the revolution, but also defections in the security forces and foreign interference were very important for its success. It was not political parties that constituted the core of the anti-regime forces. Decisive was the support of an important part of the business and political elite for the opposition. The fact that anti-regime forces united just before the presidential elections proved to be critical. The hardening of authoritarian rule under President Kuchma occurred after the opposition had already become too powerful to be dissipated by harassment. The Orange Revolution tried to enforce its demands in the framework of the law. The fact that the constitutional court and parliament still had some autonomy proved to be crucial. The Orange Revolution was mainly based in Western and Central Ukraine and revealed a deep cultural-political divide in Ukraine. The Orange Revolution gives a unique opportunity to create a culture of democracy and to establish the rule of law.